Dan Weintraub has a selective memory.
In a homage to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s former political prowess, Weintraub gushes today about how worker’s compensation reforms, a year and a half later, have actually caused insurance premiums to go down for small businesses.
Garamendi’s latest recommendation brings to nearly 50 percent the cumulative rate reductions his office has called for since the Legislature in March 2004 passed a measure to overhaul the program, whose costs were spiraling out of control.
Although the commissioner’s rate suggestions are not binding, insurers already have cut their prices by an average of 26 percent and will surely offer more reductions in the months ahead.
Clearly Weintraub has a lot of faith in the insurance industry. Okay…
What Weintraub is conveniently forgetting to mention is that Democrats wanted to pass an additional bill that would have guaranteed rate-reductions for small businesses that matched the savings caused by the plan, in order to prevent the insurance companies from hoarding profits. That is what Sen. Sheila Keuhl is talking about when she said “We are voting on this with a gun to our heads,” as Weintraub quotes.
Weintraub’s theory is that had the Democrats stood up to Schwarzenegger’s threats to take the measure to the ballot box, they may have succeeded in killing any reform. My theory is that had the Democrats prevailed, small business owners would now be enjoying a 50% rate reduction, as opposed to 26%.